Malaysia uses the methods of sighting of the new moon (kaedah rukyah) and calculation based on the expected visibility (Imkanur rukyah) criteria to determine the first day of Syawal or Aidilfitri, Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Othman Mustapha said today.
He said the difference in deciding the date of Aidilfitri among Islamic countries, including Malaysia, was due to the difference in the rise and fall of the new moon.
The matter also depended on whether the religious authorities in the respective countries used only the method of sighting of the moon or calculation, or both, he said in a statement.
He said the issue of Sabah and Sarawak not celebrating Syawal 1432 with other states in the peninsula did not arise.
“The determination of the first day of Ramadan and Syawal is also subject to the declaration by the Keeper of the Rulers Seal,” he said.
As such, Jakim hoped that all Muslims in Malaysia, whether in the peninsula or Sabah and Sarawak, would abide by the decision announced by the Keeper of the Rulers Seal, he said.